How Railway System Operators will be able to prevent or mitigate IT and OT outages and failures

Sep 22, 2021 | News

According to Eurostat statistics, the rail passenger transport within the EU was estimated at 416 billion passenger-kilometers in 2019, which is an increase of 3.4% from the previous year. The long-term trend is that more and more people are expected to use trains as their method of transportation because it is fast, secure and reliable.

Another important trend for the SAFETY4RAILSproject is the cybercrime around the world, which had a massive growth of over 69% in 2020 comparing to 2019, according to the FBI 2020 annual report. This indicates that it is a matter of time until the railway or metro industry will be targeted.

To fulfil the high demanding standards, SAFETY4RAILS as a project supports railway and metro system operators in mitigating threats and their potential impact. For making it possible, multiple SAFETY4RAILS partners are aligning their powerful tools to combat physical, cyber and cyber-physical threats and assure that both passengers and operators have a safe and effective environment.

One of the SAFETY4RAILS project outcomes is the creation of the SAFETY4RAILS Information System (S4RIS), a platform which brings new cutting-edge tech functionalities to the railway sector, such as offering proactive and reactive continuous support for cyber threats, outages or critical errors within the IT and OT infrastructures.

How? By combining multiple tools that could detect, prevent, mitigate and offer decision support.

One of the partner tools, CuriX, plays a central role regarding this aspect, since it brings functionalities for analysing technical system behaviour and can fuse individual tools’ detection output for the decision support engine.

Here is a list of enhancements that CuriX aims to fuse within the S4RIS tool:

  • Collection and aggregation of (raw) data from multiple sources (machines, sensors, etc…)
  • Collection of metrics and logs from Big Data systems
  • Combination of dynamic data and static asset information
  • Abnormal behavior detection based on input data (anomaly identification)
  • Time-series-based analysis
  • Prediction of potential failures within systems
  • Identification of faults and localization of root cause
  • Easy provision of results over a powerful standardized integration
  • Runs a fully automated computational cycle (see Figure 1)


Figure 1 – CuriX Computational Cycle

The S4RIS tool will be able to handle a large variety of threats, starting from detecting unusual human behavior through video and audio analysis, down to the sensor and system behavior.

SAFETY4RAILS not only enhances the safety and security of the monitored IT and OT infrastructure components but also offers risk management and decision support for the railway and metro system operators. Finally, SAFETY4RAILS intends equipping the railway and metro operators with the necessary tools to expect the unexpected and enable them to offer passengers a more secure and safer travelling environment.


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